How often have we seen good Gloster Canaries let down on the show bench by poor presentation, either of themselves or the show they occupy. The exhibition side of the hobby is our shop window. It tells everyone else about us the exhibitor and gives a message to the rest of the fancy. It also sends signals to non-bird fancy individuals or organisation. Clean and well painted show cages are a priority not an after thought, it displays your intentions as an exhibitor. The exhibit must arrive at the show well prepared, second best is not good enough to catch the judges eye. How we arrive at this “best practice” is not a complicated affair but a one of acceptable standards and common sense.
THE SHOW CAGE: The frame for the picture is the show cage, it should be clean and well painted with acceptable perches. A good clean seed to cover the floor and a “bit extra” in the seed box, along with a clean black drinker. This is a MUST not an area of presentation which can be neglected.
THE CARRYING CASE: The carrying case is perhaps the first impression you give to the rest of the fancy. It should be “fit for the purpose”. Again as with the show cage it should be clean and well turned out, with perhaps your name enblazed on the side. How often is this area of presentation neglected?.
THE GLOSTER CANARY: The Gloster Canary which is the canvas and painting within the frame should be immaculate. It should be first and foremost clean, tidy and in the best of health, for without this criteria the exhibit is nothing. A dirty unhealthy Gloster gives out the wrong impressions about the fancy and it should be deplored not condoned. A achieving the necessary exhibition standard to gain show success will follow as the breeders stock develops, but without the afore-mentioned basic details the exhibitor is going nowhere. Preparing the Gloster for the show bench takes time and patience which starts as soon as the young canary is weaned-off.
Show cage training must start early and the potential exhibit should be accustomed to running between the show cage and the stock cage at will. This reduces handling the finished/moulted Gloster during the show season. Baths are a must during the moult with warm sprays being used thereafter. Hand washing the exhibit should only be attempted if the exhibitor has the necessary experience in this area. Not all Glosters can take a full hand wash. An experienced fancier in this practice should advise. One hand wash prior to a major exhibition (The National or I.G.B.A. Club Show ) is all that is required during the show season.
MANAGING THE SHOW TEAM: The show team needs to be managed throughout the season for success to be achieved. A slip-shod approach towards the exhibition side of the hobby can undo a successful breeding season. A plan of the shows at which you are to exhibit is necessary if the maximum potential of your exhibits is to be fulfilled. How many Gloster Canaries of show quality do you have, are they flighted, unflighted, coronas or consorts and indeed are they cocks or hens. Have you birds that may come into the show team later in the season? All these questions need answering prior to the first show.
You should have assessed your Glosters and your needs early in the show season to allow for progression during the coming weeks. Other questions which need addressing is how many classes you intend to cover at those shows you have chosen to enter and which shows are given priority. Have you a pinnacle during the show season ie. The National, if so you need to plan everything towards that objective. Do not over show your Glosters in the quest for false goals be patient and the birds will deliver the fruits of the breeding season, at a given, managed time.